Estie Dallett, Negotiator: From Insurance Claims to Incorrigible Canines

EstieDalletNot a dolphin trainer, or a rock star, or a ballerina, when Estie Dallett was eight, she recognized herself as a balance-seeking Libra and wanted to be a judge when she grew up. To become a judge, she first had to be a lawyer. “I was very academically oriented, and I knew from an early age that the expectation in my family was that I would go to an Ivy League school, like my siblings before me,” Her father, a long-time archivist at the University of Pennsylvania made this expectation clear.

She did not disappoint. From the prestigious Maderia School in Virginia, Estie moved on to Harvard College and Harvard Law School. She secured a clerkship and then a position as an associate at one of Washington, DC’s oldest “Big Law” firms, only pausing before law school to teach English in Africa for a year – a detour she says her father didn’t understand.

Once an attorney, Estie forged ahead, working long hours and moving up the ranks. But she rarely even had the time to think about whether the work she was doing was what she really wanted to do and found herself too drained to seek a vibrant social life. “I was doing insurance law, and I started thinking to myself. ‘Is this what I wanted to do when I was little? Work all the time and help Fortune 500 companies that already had money get more from their insurers?’” (more…)